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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 27, 2011 12:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

Actually that's a good point, that both these shows end with little mini-Alligator/Caution jams coming out of half-assed New Potatoes. The 10/13 one is VERY mini (the 2-minute Alligator/Caution jam, whee!), it sounds like they thought they were running out of time, or were told to cut it short.
(There's also a bad cut in the 10/13 Potato, but you can tell by the ending chord that they didn't do the full jam.)

I think the thing is, they didn't have any big show-closers that didn't involve Pigpen! It was a choice between Lovelight or Caution, and without Pigpen, what were they going to do? A giant New Potato>feedback? Seems pretty logical that they'd do an abbreviated Alligator/Caution-type jam, just without the "song" parts.

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Poster: Jim F Date: May 27, 2011 11:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

Also, this whole talking about someone being heard saying "I thought we were gonna do Alligator..." thing got me thinking about that odd little show known as 8/22/68, particularly the Alligator>Caution.

I've always loved everything from that show, it's really a completely different style performance compared to 8/21,23,24/68. Though in my world that's a 4 day consecutive show run for which I don't think nearly enough praises can be sung. It doesn't seem to get mentioned as much when people talk about legendary runs like Fillmore West 69, Fillmore East 1970 and 1971. It really deserves more credit.

Anyway, I don't want to write 10 paragraphs of material on each set, I just wanted to say how I like the way they decide to jam on the Alligator>Caution jam on 8/22/68. Try listening to the Alligator>Caution's from the 22nd and the 23rd back to back. Completely different feel to them. The thing I wanted to mention about the 22nd is the jam after the drums following the Alligator vocals (which has a flub of sorts and Pig ad libs a line I've never heard any other time). If you listen closely you can hear someone say "Eleven," and they play the "usual" Alligator style jam but in 11/4 time. A strange sortof Alligator/Caution/The Eleven hybrid. Of course in 1969 we start seeing Eleven jams incorporated with Alligator's and Caution's somewhat regularly. But this is different.

I also have a theory that the 12/21/68 performance of Alligator>Caution had an Eleven tucked in, but we just don't know because the tape runs out during the drums, cutting back into a post-drums Alligator jam/pre Caution jam. To my ear, it almost sounds like they're coming out of the "2nd theme jam" of The Eleven before heading back into the Alligator jam/Caution.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 28, 2011 1:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

Nice post! I really like it when people try to really dig into what was going on in the music in particular jams in a detailed way, I think your ears have found some interesting things.

I'm in violent agreement with you about the August shrine shows, I think they are right up there with the best of 68 and certainly count as one of the band's best series of shows.

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Poster: Jim F Date: May 28, 2011 11:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

Ha "violent agreement," I like that.

I'm sure there are probably a number of us out there who could write novels about particular jams. I always appreciate the people who do take the time to conjure up long reviews filled with all kinds of metaphors and off the wall descriptive adjectives that I need to look up in the dictionary. I rarely have it in me anymore to sit down and spend hours and hours writing stuff and debating music anymore. But I absolutely love reading those kinds of things.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 28, 2011 7:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

As skuzzlebutt mentioned in the fall '68 thread, it's certainly interesting that the band themselves were so unhappy with their playing at these shows, holding their let's-pick-on-Weir meeting afterwards.

Scully: "The music is being carried to a certain level, then staying there...you guys tire of music that has much more potential, many more possibilities, too soon. It never gets any better - it begins to get worse - too fast for the material, because the material is complex and groovy."
Garcia: "All you gotta do is listen to the tapes."
Lesh: "You can't really get but two or three of them on...I only like them with reservation."
Garcia: "The gigs haven't been any fun, it hasn't been good playing it, because we're at different levels of playing, we're thinking different thoughts and we just aren't playing together."
Yes, it's the Two From The Vault run they're talking about!

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: May 28, 2011 4:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions - a query for our experts

Strange business here - I wrote the following comments based on what I heard on the soundboard version - but then went back to check other versions. They do not match! Huh? I think this soundboard is from a different performance!

SBD: http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-08-22.sbd.koucky.gmb.92733.sbeok.flac16

This is certainly a unique treatment I agree - a very creative and energetic jam. Although I was unable to count the 11/4 time you mention ( I kept getting even counts) I did immediately hear a unique mix of jams. The one that jumped out early was that it was based on the Mountain Jam (first there is a mountain...) with an unusual closer - the set list calls it And We Bid You Good Night Jam - but I would call it the ending of GDTRFB, very up tempo. Cool stuff, and great drumming throughout.

When I listen to the AUD version - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-08-22.sbd.cotsman.14915.sbeok.shnf - I can clearly hear the 11/8 Jim mentions. Totally different jam.

Can anyone solve this mystery?

This post was modified by unclejohn52 on 2011-05-28 23:18:32

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 28, 2011 5:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions - a query for our experts

Actually, 8/22/68 has long been plagued with misdated tapes. I was fooled by my own tape for a long time til I did some comparative listening and realized it was a fake...

Anyway, the cotsman version is the real 8/22 Alligator.
The koucky version has the Alligator from 8/21 (mixed into mono, and with the drums edited out).
The jools version has just the 8/22 Alligator without the rest of the show.

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Poster: Jim F Date: May 27, 2011 11:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

Those jams are legendary, and oddly enough I think I find the shorter one to be the more powerful. Those 2 shows are so special and unique in so many ways, while ironically having identical setlists and nearly identical song lengths.

It may just be another possibly true tale or one with the details mixed up, but I once heard a story about how Latvala was really excited about one of these jams and gave it "Primal Dead" status.

The way I remember it is that one day Dick Latvala was in one of the Grateful Dead offices talking to someone about the concept of certain high-powered jams which he called "Primal Dead" (other examples including things like the "Beautiful Jam," or the entire Watkins Glen soundcheck jam). To let them hear an example, in his usual animated "you GOTTA hear this!" way he put on that closing jam from 10/12(13?). As the story goes, Phil Lesh happened to be around the corner, listening, unbeknownst to Latvala.

I can't remember the point of the story or the context in which being told, but I think it might have had something to do with how the idea for Dick's Picks came about. Maybe Phil told the story about it being an instance where he really became aware of Latvala's passion and knowledge of the music and how they should consult him for releases. Something like that.

I dunno, my point in telling it was that I always think of that story whenever I listen to the Alligator/Caution-ish jam/s from the Avalon. You know something's good when an excited Latvala is playing it for a GD employee to represent the band at their finest.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 28, 2011 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

That is a true story, and one I used in my Dick Latvala post...

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Poster: Jim F Date: May 28, 2011 11:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More Avalon Questions

I figured it was probably in your DL post. Your essays usually so exhaustively include every detail I've ever read or heard that I can't keep track.

And to get back into the "firing," it really is amusing to think of the band listening back to what became Two from the Vault (as well as just about any other show from the era) and thinking "wow this sucks!" If you'd have told them then that in 40 years there would be a cult of people who have every excellent note played in 1968 memorized, catalogued on multiple formats from multiple transfers, and backed up on 5 hard drives, they'd have thought you were crazy. Now, when we look at that Summer 68 period, we think they're the crazy ones for not recording more. Or keeping better track of the recordings, anyway.

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